|Felix Zwayer was in charge of the Leipzig - Dortmund game|
Let's start with the important games in the fight to avoid relegation:
Manuel Gräfe in Mainz - Bremen [VAR: Tobias Reichel]
Overall: Referee justified his latest appointment for a top game; his typical lenient foul selection, combined with a good disciplinary control and a very-well seen play on from a penalty appeal at the end; generally very good.
12' Penalty appeal (tripping?)
Philipp: A penalty should be given; though, VAR's non-intervention can be justified if the referee saw the situation clearly.
Mikael: A very crafty foul by the defender that should result in a penalty - especially, if the attacker was going to reach the ball (probability: very high). As the referee was probably looking for any charging / holding fouls, subconsciously looking for upper body contacts, it is very likely that he did not perceive the situation correctly (expectation-perception-recognition level). VAR is an excellent tool for correcting understandable perception mistakes on the pitch, and should have intervened in my view.
Daniel Siebert in Fortuna Düsseldorf - Augsburg [VAR: Günther Perl]
Overall: Helped by VAR who correctly ruled out a Düsseldorf goal for a prior handling (6'), referee delivered a strong performance in this important match for the relegation.
Robert Hartmann in Hoffenheim - Union Berlin [VAR: Marco Fritz]
Overall: Not an interesting match for the refereeing; fine.
Christian Dingert in Köln - Eintracht Frankfurt [VAR: Bibiana Steinhaus]
Overall: Facing potential penalties (7', 8') and Red Cards (58', for a potential SFP), referee was overall solid.
Sören Storks in Bayern München - Freiburg [VAR: Guido Winkmann]
Overall: Easy match, good performance.
53' Penalty appeal (holding?)
Philipp: A penalty should be given, but VAR should not intervene as the attacking player had no chance to reach the ball (and it could be considered normal set-piece behaviour).
Mikael: It would be better if a penalty was given and VAR would intervene (clearer for everyone), but in the DFB paradigm (and UEFA's) it was better that VAR confirmed play on.
Felix Brych in Hertha Berlin - Bayer Leverkusen [VAR: Sven Jablonski]
Overall: Strict piece of officiating, a few times the referee was mistaken in his judgement, but all-in-all a good performance.
Sascha Stegemann in Schalke - Wolfsburg [VAR: Frank Willenborg]
Overall: Good performance in a game where the referee was not challenged.
Felix Zwayer in Leipzig - Dortmund [VAR: Bastian Dankert]
Overall: Lenient piece of refereeing, which helped foster an intense game where the players largely in a fair manner.
21' Reckless or Serious Foul Play? Yellow Card given
Philipp: Red Card is the correct decision, but VAR is correct not to intervene (low point of contact, leg which made the contact was not fully straight).
Mikael: A clear Red Card for SFP, which should be given as the referee has a good insight into the tackle; VAR should intervene if it is not. No need to complicate a clear situation in my view.
-> We both agree that it is interesting to speculate what apparently made the referee change his mind, as he reached toward his Red Card before issuing the lesser sanction.
Tobias Welz in Paderborn - Gladbach [VAR: Sven Waschitzki]
Overall: Penalty for tripping (55') and a Second Yellow Card for showing a lack of respect (66') were both correct, the former was very well seen by the referee. Good performance besides.
And finally, a round up of three games from the 2.Bundesliga:
Matthias Jöllenbeck had a good afternoon, the Nürnberg - Stuttgart game was surprisingly given to a 2.BL referee, and he performed well in a one-sided game; Heidenheim - Hamburg had a very dramatic finish with huge implications for the promotion race, but was not really a challenging game for Deniz Aytekin, who's VAR [Robert Kampka] correctly ruled out a goal in the second half for handling; and, in his recent return from injury, Benjamin Brand took charge of the important Karlsruher SC - Arminia Bielefeld game, and gave two penalties which the home team scored in order to draw the match - at 70' for tripping (rather incorrect for Philipp, very well-seen in my view) and at 88' for striking, where VAR [Christof Günsch] identified the offence took place inside the penalty area.